Thursday, February 27, 2003

My parking lot attendant told me about this case yesterday, but I couldn't find a link. So thanks to the emailer who sent me the link. He says, as commentary:
This case reminds me of the classic case from tort's class where the property owner rigs a gun to shoot at a burglar when he comes through the door. There were a number of us in my torts class who said "too bad, so sad, shouldn't have been breaking into someone else's house to steal their stuff." It's been more than seven years since that class, and I still feel basically the same way when I read this story. I hope the verdict gets thrown out on appeal.

19 years ago, we had the same discussion in my torts class. I can see both sides of the argument. I can understand the policy consideration that one cannot defend with deadly force a non-deadly instrusion. However, the idiot shouldn't have been trying to break in in the first place. Note that the jury in this case tried to split the baby: "jurors placed 50 percent of the blame for the death on Harris, but assigned the bar's owners 40 percent and placed 10 percent on the property's owner."

In sum, a verdict consistent with well-established legal concepts, though nonetheless still controversial.

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